Fed up with legislators’ inability to revise the state’s school funding formula, Washington Superintendent Randy Dorn filed lawsuits this week against the state and seven school districts, including Seattle, Tacoma, and several large suburban districts.
Dorn argues that the districts are illegally using local property tax levies to pay teachers’ salaries instead of using state money, according to the Associated Press.
The state’s supreme court ruled in the 2012 McCleary v. Washington case that local districts are paying a disproportionate amount of education costs. While the state has poured millions of dollars into the formula in recent years to pay for transportation costs and prekindergarten, it has yet to spend more to increase teacher salaries, a key provision of the ruling.
In his lawsuit, Dorn says that raising local levies to cover salary costs “enables the legislature to evade its duty to amply fund education,” according to the AP.
Last week, the court called for the state’s legislature’s lawyers to appear in court Sept. 7 to explain how their “plan-for-a-plan” satisfies the court’s demands for the state to pour more money into its state funding formula, according to the Seattle Times.
Read the entire lawsuit here.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.